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EU, S. Korea sign Galileo satellite cooperation agreement

10 September 2006: The European Union (EU) and South Korea on September 9 signed cooperation agreement on the latter’s participation in Europe’s Galileo global satellite navigation project. The accord was signed in the presence of South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun during an EU-South Korea summit. The project represents an investment of 3.8 billion euros (about 4.8 billion U.S. dollars), which has prompted the EU to seek financial partners.

According to the EU, the sectors for cooperation include radio-spectrum, scientific research and training, industrial cooperation, trade and market development, standards, certification and regulatory measures, ground augmentation systems, security, liability and cost recovery. Europe hopes the Galileo project, scheduled to be operational by 2010, will rival the reigning GPS of the United States.

Unlike GPS, which is controlled by the U.S. military, Galileo will stay under civilian control, increasing the EU’s strategic independence. The EU has signed cooperation accords with China and Israel. Negotiations are under way with Ukraine, India and Morocco, while Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia, Canada and Australia have also shown interest.